I think critics underestimate how much even flimsy narrative context can make mass murder comfortable. For all the media scare at the time, Doom is “demons are invading from literal hell” - killing them all is clearly justified. Even the problematic “kill the terrorists” of Call of Duty has a character motivation. But AC:O just puts a loot box in a temple, and has all the guards at the temple try to murder you if you even walk towards the temple. It’s bizarre and in one fell swoop tears down the immersive space that this team of artists worked so hard to build.
And so you learn that to get that loot box you need to murder these 6 guards, because the game tells you you’re supposed to clear that point off the map.
I just keep coming back to how there are a half-dozen different ways you could have made a cogent, interesting game from the same building blocks - even one that was combat heavy - and yet for some reason (presumably time crunch + the multiple studio setup?) they didn’t even try to make something cohesive; just bits of other games all mashes together and polished.
I find the constant praise of Kassandra obnoxious for these reasons - the vocal performance is fantastic, but a fantastic performance does not, by itself, a great character make, and the portrayals of Kassandra are so fundamentally contradictory that there’s no way to suss out a real character there; she’s just a weirdly constrained avatar.
(and Vinraith: having not played any AC game since Black Flag, Odyssey is definitely NOT hugely different from what came before; I was actually shocked just how similar it was. Usually when you skip four games in a series, you’ll see enormous change, and here it’s mostly just technical advancement combined with the aforementioned stealing-bits-from-other-games, and combat that is certainly improved but I’m not sure is particularly good)